Carolyn Cruso

Flute, guitar, hammered dulcimer, songwriting
Available: Thursday and Saturday
Ages Taught: 8+
Levels Taught: Beginner to Intermediate
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As a flute teacher, Carolyn specializes in traditional Irish music and improvisation. Additionally, she teaches flute method including reading music, producing and maintaining good tone, articulation, and rhythmic studies. On guitar, her specialization is fingerstyle in both standard and alternate tunings, and she works with songwriters to craft potent lyrics, melody, and chord progressions. Hammered Dulcimer lessons focus on Celtic music. She helps the student to develop lush arrangements that fit their current technique level and encourages technique development through scales, arpeggios, and rhythmic study.
Carolyn has been a performing multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter for twenty-five years. She’s recorded nine albums and has traveled the country and Europe with her music. She’s known as an innovative dulcimer player, pushing the boundaries of tradition while respecting its roots.
Carolyn’s philosophy on teaching and learning is to always keep an open mind. You start from where you are. You delight in the discovery of music and in the wonders of experimentation as well as the discipline of music basics. It is experiential and yet systematic. It is a give and take where the teacher learns through teaching and the student teaches through learning. Carolyn believes in a gentle yet focused approach and students consider her an excellent and patient teacher.


Audrey Goodman

Piano, Songwriting
Available: Monday-Friday
Ages Taught: 4+
Levels Taught: All
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Audrey specializes in teaching children and beginning adults by tailoring lessons to the student in front of her. She uses a week by week approach which adds just the right amount of new material for the student and offers students the opportunity to participate in a yearly recital in May. She also gives music theory lessons designed for the ‘by ear’ folk musician who wants to understand the basic structure of music to augment their ability to jam and transpose.

Audrey Goodman is a gifted music teacher who has taught music in schools since 1989. Along with her experience as a private piano teacher, innovative classroom music educator, musical theater and children’s choir director, Audrey is a musician, a published composer, songwriter, ASCAP affiliate, and performer. Audrey was trained on piano from the age of seven at the New England Conservatory of Music and brings a wealth of experience to Dusty Strings. She has developed successful music programs for children including designing and teaching music in private, parochial, and public elementary schools in Santa Monica, CA. Her classes for children culminate in a musical performance at the end of each session, where children perform songs and demonstrate the skills they’ve learned.


Tai Shan

Guitar, songwriting, voice
Available: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday
Ages Taught: 7+
Levels Taught: Beginner to intermediate
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Tai’s expertise is in working with women ages seven to adult—helping them to find their voice and joy through music. Under her skillful guidance, students progress from learning the guitar to writing and performing. What is unique and motivating is that she teaches her students the songs that they are currently listening to—the music they adore and follow. As one of her student’s commented, “I got to learn songs I actually know and love, and received help putting my own songs together.”

In nine years of teaching, Tai has won praise for her supportive approach to teaching music and songwriting and has developed a large and respected private studio. A graduate of Cornish College and a singer-songwriter herself, she is known for her unique chord voicings, wide sweeping melodies, and detailed lyrics. CultureMob raves: “Tai Shan sings as if the world was unaware of beauty, and it is her task to describe it.”

Tai helps students set their own goals by designing a curriculum that takes them from beginning guitar to on-stage performance. When students have mastered their song Tai helps them create a digital recording. She also hosts a bi-annual student showcase and films the performance, providing opportunities for the students to build their stage confidence and fan base. As former student Briana Marela (K Records) stated, “Tai gave me the courage to go out and perform.”


Wes Weddell

Mandolin, guitar, songwriting
Available: By appointment
Ages Taught: 12+
Levels Taught: Beginner to intermediate
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Wes Weddell’s love for stringed instruments goes back to his gradeschool days as a Suzuki violin dropout. The Seattle singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, and audio odd-jobber is a passionate advocate for original music and live performance, appearing regularly in many capacities on stage and in recordings around the region and beyond.

As a teacher, Wes has guided hundreds of students of all ages and abilities since 2001 in private lessons, group classes, library programs, and school visits. Wes has offered group classes at Dusty Strings since 2007, including Beginning Mandolin 1 and 2 and the popular Living Room Ensemble. His approach is light and accessible, tailored to students’ individual goals.

Wes has released four albums, starting with My Northwest Home, which introduced him to the Seattle music scene in 2001. Whether performing, writing, recording, teaching, sitting-in, or presenting—all have become regular parts of Wes’ repertoire—he remains committed to helping audiences and musicians find each other!

“Wes improved my musicianship by showing me the emotional changes through musical changes. Wes improved my life by teaching me interaction and social skills through my song.” – middle school student, 2016